Indigenous Australians need Sovereignty: Native American scholar

Indigenous nation building needs political autonomy, good governance and leadership

Visiting Native American scholar Dr Manley Begay of University of Arizona and Harvard University says Indigenous nation building needs sovereignty and good governance to achieve sustainable economic and community development.

Dr Begay will present the Murrup Barak Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development, 2010 Narrm Oration titled "Indigenous Nation Re-Building Renaissance: Lessons about Leadership, Governance and Resiliency of Native North America" at the University of Melbourne on Thursday 11 November at 6:00pm.

Dr Begay will investigate the lessons from Native nations in the United States and Canada's First Nations and Bands which have achieved economic development success recently.

"After hundreds of years of control by the United States government, Native nations in the US are currently experiencing a political resurgence," said Dr Begay. He said this 'Indigenous Nation-Rebuilding' revolution was occurring in Canada as well.

"This new era of 'Indigenous Country' is really a movement from self-determination to true nation-building," he said.

"This evolution of increased self rule has led to successful economic development, improved social and living conditions such as improved healthcare, increased educational and language retention rates.

"Many Native nations, however, have powers of self-rule that place the keys to economic and social development in the hands of Indigenous leadership. This new found power and authority, however, is neither secure nor absolute.

"Therefore, at least with respect to those issues that are under potential Native control, the problems of Native nations are, at their core, problems of self-governance and leadership."

The 2010 Narrm Oration will be held alongside the launch of the Institute's foundation corporate partnership with Rio Tinto Australia.

Dr Manley A Begay Jr, is Faculty Chair, Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy and Senior Lecturer in the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Arizona and co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at Harvard University.

Date Thursday 11 November 2010
Time 6.00pm to 8.00pm (Please be seated by 6.20pm)
Venue 'The Spot' (Basement Theatre) Faculty of Economics and Commerce 198 Berkeley Street, Carlton (Corner of Pelham Street)

Seats are limited. RSVP essential RSVP on-line to:
For further information please call Amy Bugeja 03 8344 0695

Media interviews
Rebecca Scott University of Melbourne Media Officer 0417 164 791


Aboriginal Sovereignty

I do believe Australia's aboriginal peoples need thier own sovereignty.
However I dont believe mimicking the misrule of those who attempt to rule us will serve.
The dominant culture has a peicemeal approach to life, we do not.
Their approach to governance will not serve us.
The aboriginal people of Australia need a medium through which to make their voices heard, each and every voice must be heard.
We do not need some pomposs fool to make our decisions for us.
We may need administrators to administrate but we must have the ability to determine our own path, make our own choices right or wrong.
For those who take a peicemeal approach to living this might result in anarchy.
But we are not such a people.

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